Dec. 11, 2016

The Rundown: Renting/Buying Pros and Cons

A more traditional mindset would say that it is better to own your home than to be bound by renting. However, we shouldn't be limited by this prevalent assumption - for those who frequently travel, or for those who are thinking of staying in an area for a shorter period of time, renting would be the definite choice. At any rate, here is a quick list of pros and cons that you ought to know for each approach:

Renting Pros: - More relaxed requirements to be a Tenant - Your credit rating may not be as good, but you can still rent. - You aren't bound to a mortgage, so you are more flexible when it comes to your finances. - You don't have to worry about general maintenance costs. - There is also no need to be concerned if the neighborhood depreciates.

Renting Cons: - Rent is higher that mortgage payments - You aren't building any sort of equity; you aren't owning an asset - unless, you're on a rare rent-to-own partnership. - There is a limit to what you can do - Renovations, Pets, etc. - Rent can be raised at any time; Also, if the owner decides to sell the property, that means you need to start looking for another place to live.

Buying Pros: - You are obviously building equity. - You stand to benefit if the entire neighborhood market appreciates. - You have the freedom to remodel and restore as you please.

Buying Cons: - Secondary costs concerning maintenance and taxes can be a hassle. - Your equity would definitely suffer if market prices go down. - More difficult to be qualified - You will need proper credit/income scores. - Mortgage can be overwhelming.

Posted in Real Estate
Nov. 27, 2016

5 Tips To Make Moving So Much Easier

Moving house doesn't have to be stressful. Here are some tips gathered from sources that have gone through quite a bit of moving themselves.

1. Buy more packaging material than you think you would need. It's best to have more boxes and tape than having to spend time to go to and from a supermarket.

2. Use Moving-friendly packaging material. You would probably be doing yourself a favor by using the type of packaging tape that is tearable by hand. The small seconds you fiddle for a pair of scissors to cut tape could accumulate pretty easily.

3. Put Everything in Boxes. Boxes are stackable and this just makes things easier to move. Buy smaller boxes for fragile glassware/ceramics.

4. Prepare Essentials. Pack a travel bag with clothes and toiletries to last you for the next few days. It also helps to ready things you will need immediately at the new location (Toilet Paper, Dishwashing Liquid, Soap)

5. Take Time To Organize. Pack in Sections/Areas - It just makes things neat and systematic. You wouldn't move to a new room until everything in the former area is moved/packed up. Add more details to your boxes.

Young couple unpacking cardboard boxes at new home.Moving house.

It does pay significantly to take a little more time in the days approaching the actual moving date to get things ready in terms of logistics. These tips should get you ready for even most uncommon circumstances that may arise as you move. The proper preparation makes moving less of a chore.

Posted in Home Improvement
Nov. 20, 2016

General Home Renovation Tips for Investors

Whether you're an aspiring landlord or if you're looking to improve a property for an eventual re-sale, you ought to know that renovation is a strategic move that ought to be planned and performed correctly. This is not to intimidate you, only to guide you to make the proper considerations. There is always the possibility of you spending way more that you hoped for in order to make changes that you may not have needed to execute in the first place. It is in this case that renovating a house becomes a definite lose/lose situation.

Don't be fooled by the 'reality' Renovation shows - oftentimes, the cameras emphasize how whole walls and rooms are torn down by a sledgehammer. While this is a possible scenario, it's not like you're going to be doing that a lot, unless a total rebuilding is in the works. For actual renovations, smaller scale cosmetic improvements are called for.

Interior Renovation

As you walk through the house to plan your renovation, make a note of what parts of the floors and walls need repairs. Take some time to concentrate on the Kitchen - as at least one seasoned realtor may tell you, oftentimes the kitchen sells the entire house. The kitchen joins the bathrooms on the property in being top areas that will need your undivided attention when it comes to renovation. Flooring is also something to take a look at, but don't forget to check out the ceilings as well.

Work on making the Master Bedroom special - remember, the people who will be staying here are oftentimes the ones making the purchase! Take advantage of anything that's already in the room and make any corrections/improvements based on what you have. There will always be something you can do for the bedroom to really be the Master Bedroom.

Don't Forget The Outside

While there is a considerable amount of things to do when it comes to cosmetic improvements inside the house, you should not neglect what your potential clients see as they park to see the property for the first time. Does the home need a whole new color? What parts of the outer walls & trim need repainting? Is there a need to place new tiles on the roof?

Do any branches on the trees in the yard need pruning? Are the trees closer to the home affecting the roof? Is there any foliage that takes away from the view of a nearby landmark? Are there any limitations to what you can and can't do stated on the HOA rules? What needs to be updated in the existing landscaping?

Other Reminders

When it comes to repainting inner and outer walls or replacing flooring, remember that you will be encountering anything and everything that was hidden previously. You should have a budget ready for correcting any of these hidden stains and cracks. Speaking of budgeting, make sure that you also have enough in your budget to replace any knobs and/or handles, switches, and blinds, to name a few.

Renovations costs and rehabilitating property could be intimidating and can cost a lot of money, especially if priorities are not set correctly. It always helps to walk through the property again and again, until you have a solid course of action on paper, complete with a defined budget towards a specified goal. It does take some work and resources, but the work you do will definitely pay off when you see how much your rehabilitation efforts add to the value of the property.

Posted in Home Improvement
Nov. 13, 2016

Property Management For Would-Be Landlords

Property Management For Would-Be Landlords

If you're considering owning a Rental home for an additional source of income, then you should automatically picturing yourself as a landlord. Here are some things some experienced landlords may let you know as their advice, just so that you're prepared for when you finally make the decision to establish a given property for lease.

1. Choose Your Tenants Wisely - One field where you absolutely have the power to allow or refuse a tenant application is in the area of their financial capability. Asking about how a tenant intends to pay for his/her rent eventually opens up conversational avenues where you eventually discover other vital pieces of information such as their job, past income, debt/income ratio, and maybe even information on their previous stay. Ask a little more when you come across potential tenants that are self-employed, because you need to make sure that their income is consistent and stable enough to sustain their monthly dues.

Ask all the questions you can. Take all the information you should. What's their credit score like? Who are their references? Go as far as calling their references and asking them questions as well. The more information you know at the offset, the better.

2. Establish A Consistent Cash Flow - The property needs to keep cash flowing, in as much circumstances as it could take. You will need a buffer, a margin of safety. You need to make sure that money keeps coming in, even when the air-conditioning conks out or when the heating system needs repairs. Speaking of repairs, you may find it necessary to have a reserve amount of money for those times. An extra amount of cash also helps to cover expenses in the event of an eviction.

3. Know Your Local Laws - Rental laws don't just vary by state, they may even be different from county to county - remember this if you intend to keep multiple rentals in surrounding areas. You will definitely want to familiarize yourself with the Landlord/Tenant Act for your particular county, understanding all the nuances of it. This may mean that you may need to do upgrades to the home to adhere to the said Act.

4. Be Prepared To Evict - Here's another reason to know what your Local Laws say; events such as Eviction are always covered, and you must know your capabilities as a Landlord according to what the County/State has to say. You should also be ready in other areas; Consult an attorney to help you out by reviewing your Lease Agreement. Ask for what's needed when an actual eviction is necessary; most of this information (Identification i.e. a Driver's License) can be gathered from your tenants before they move in.

If you want rentals, you need to be prepared to evict. It's absolutely part of being a landlord. Keep a strict system and adhere to it.

Other Good Things To Know

Experienced landlords may also tell you to stay close to home - This means that it is always ideal that you are living close to where your rentals are. This is so that you can take a quick drive to check on things, such as working utilities, appliances, etc. It also allows you to keep your tenants on their toes, to make sure they're always complying to the terms you initially agreed upon. It takes a lot of manpower and resources to maintain properties in different counties, much more in different states. You should keep an close eye on your real-estate.

Finally, you may also consider hiring a Property Manager - although if you have the time, you should be your own property manager. Doing the tips above covers most essentials that Property Managers actually do - if you already have consulted with an Attorney regarding evictions (or, if you have an actual 'eviction attorney' ready), and if you screen your tenants wisely, a property manager may just turn out to be a waste of money. Consider the terms and how much they cost.

Owning a Rental home means that you will become a Landlord - and every Landlord would definitely benefit by having a good grasp of Property Management. It is essential that you know exactly what you're getting into, just so that you would be making less mistakes, and more profit.

Posted in Real Estate
Nov. 13, 2016

3 Factors In Choosing A Good Real Estate Agent

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Whether you're in the market to buy a home or to sell your property, you may agree with the majority that it is extremely helpful, if not necessary to have an agent help you out with your plans.

Though you may get the service you need with the first real estate agent you contact, it may help for you to be a little more discerning in choosing who you would like to work with regarding these sorts of transactions. After all, these are deals concerning larger values, and it does help not only to have a knowledgable, but reliable agent by your side.

Here are some practical things to consider when choosing the real estate agent that is right for you.

1. Communication Skills - This may be a no-brainer but it is extremely important that you and the agent are comfortable in speaking and listening to each other. On the part of the agent, he or she should be able to read whether you need more details, or when to get straight to the point. An agent that is able to explain, and not just say what you want to hear is an agent with considerable experience.

2. Reliability - Too often, home buyers and sellers say that when an agent that delivers less than the promises he or she gives, this casts a significant shadow of doubt on if the deal should go any further. Besides experience, you should be able to see if an agent does what he or she says, or if it is all smoke and mirrors. It wouldn't hurt to make some minor requests to test the agent's timing, response, and ultimately his or her overall reliability.

3. Availability - In this case, you may not want to jump into a contract with a more prominent agent, especially if you want one who is more dedicated to, say, discuss documents and stipulations with you with a little more detail. Although agents are well-known for managing their time, you would want to make sure that you are getting as much of it with the agent as you need throughout the transaction.

 

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Of course, there are other things to consider, including professionalism and negotiation skills; however, these three things are important in determining if you would have an effective business relationship which benefits both you and the agent in the long run.

 

Here in Giorgi & Associates, we guarantee that the agents we recommend have the right skills to assist your every need. If you are looking to purchase a particular property, or if you would like to place your home on the market, you can be sure we will be your best friends in real estate, here in The Woodlands.  Click here to meet our team.

 

URL Sources:

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Posted in Real Estate
Nov. 13, 2016

4 Great Ways A Buyer Agent Can Help You

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Are you looking to buy a property? Whether you're looking for a Family home, a Townhouse, or even an undeveloped lot, you're probably aware that it's not as easy as buying any other product - There is a certain process involved to ensure that purchasing property is seamless and documented properly. While you can still head out to do all this on your own, most prospective buyers employ the services of a real-estate agent to make the transaction go smoothly, with little to no hitches along the way.

No matter where you are in the actual process of buying a property, you can be sure that an agent can provide you with assistance of very significant value. In this article, we will explore four ways agents can make your life as a Buyer so much easier.

1. Personal Property Showings - Do you have specific preferences regarding the property you want? Did you prefer having the Master Bedroom downstairs? Were you looking for a certain number of garage spaces? No problem! Agents can definitely search for properties with the details you like, in the area you prefer. What's more is, they can set up appointments for you to actually visit the property for yourself.

2. Financing Assistance - Agents can help you out when it comes to preparing the necessary requirements in obtaining a loan. Whether you are seeking that extra boost from a conventional establishment or other sources (FHA/VA), the agent you deal with will definitely set the correct expectations and give you the guidance you need in order to obtain approval with the least hassle.

3. Guidance in Documents - There will be a good number of forms and agreements you will be going through in any stage of the transaction. Having an agent around is certainly helpful when you have questions regarding what items in a given document need clarification and/or changes.

4. Closing phase Monitoring - Speaking of stages in a purchase transaction, you can rest easy knowing that your agent will take point in being the contact between financing insitutions and title companies involved. You will be represented accordingly, and you will definitely be kept in the loop regarding any updates, until you are finally contacted for the final walkthrough.

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Here at Giorgi & Associates, we are dedicated to providing you with excellent service, from choosing a property to closing the transaction.

Click here to start your search for properties in The Woodlands.

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Posted in Real Estate
Nov. 13, 2016

4 Effective Ways To Prepare Your Home For Photography

Say you've just signed a listing agreement with an agent, granting him exclusive rights to sell your property. In today's approaches to marketing, you shouldn't be surprised that a good deal of this involves showing your home on the internet.

A good majority of people looking for homes nowadays are doing it from the comfort and privacy of their own home. Part of the preparation for your online listing involves gathering significant details related to your property. Good pictures have also been an essential part to the listing.. And, with that being said, if you're selling, you can expect that an associated photographer may eventually reach out to schedule an appointment with you.

Professional photographers may have specific instructions, but here are 5 general tips to prepare your property for sale:

1. Check Artificial Lighting - Even if the photographer has an appointment earlier in the day, there's still a close-to-certain chance that you will be asked to turn the lights on. Make sure that any bad bulbs are replaced.

2. Turn Any Distracting Appliances Off - This means any TVs and computer screens. They have the tendency to draw the eye from the actual interior.

3. Let The Sunshine In! - Draw the curtains and open all your blinds to increase ambient, natural light in each room. Open any treated windows as well.

4. De-Personalize - If you have any frames, make sure they don't have any personal pictures; It's best to take the whole thing out. If that's not an option, at least replace the picture with a general outdoors/still-life photograph.

Of course, this is already assuming that you've given the entire home a once-over, thoroughly cleaning floors, walls, carpets, etc.; If you do the prescribed tips above, you're sure to make the entire photo-shoot finish more smoothly and in even less time than expected. Everyone wins.

Here at Giorgi & Associates, we are dedicated to providing you with excellent service, from choosing a property to closing the transaction.

Click here to start your search for properties in The Woodlands.

 

URL Sources:

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Posted in Real Estate
Nov. 13, 2016

3 Important Considerations Before Selling Your Home

3 Important Considerations Before Selling Your Home

If you're a homeowner with the intent of selling your property, you're going to need a little more than just intention before actually jumping into the fray.

A clear vision of what you want to happen is extremely helpful. It's no secret that employing the help of an agent is vital in selling property; Having a more defined vision makes you more specific in what you are looking for when choosing an agent/realtor to do business with. Having a vision ensures that you and the said agent are on the same page regarding what goals to meet, and how to get to them.

Here are 3 questions you should be asking yourself as you get into the specifics of selling your property:

1. Do I Really Want To Sell? - Yes, you may be sure for now, but ask yourself again - Do I really, really want to sell, or are there alternatives? Sometimes it may just be in your best interests to keep the home and to lease it out instead. If you really, really, do want to sell, all things considering, then read on.

2. Will I Get The Most Out Of The Home? - Is the property in top condition for the top price? Are all facilities in working order? What furniture stays, and what goes?

3. Will The Home Sell Right Away? - The lesser time it takes between your solid commitment to sell and the actual closing date, the better. Are all pertinent documents on hand?

Covering these bases will give you a clearer idea as to what to expect from the agent you will eventually choose to do business with. Once that partnership is defined and established, the rest of the process would go so much smoother.

Our agents in Giorgi & Associates are professional and happy to assist you in establishing the ideal vision you need to sell your property. Click here to meet them.

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Posted in Real Estate
Nov. 13, 2016

Reasons To Rent Out Your Property

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The number of individuals and families who choose to rent a home is on the rise. If you happen to be blessed with property to sell, it may be in your best interests to rent out the place first.

It could also be the case that the home you currently live in may not be able to cater to your needs, say, in the case of a new addition to the family. While selling the property always has its advantages, turning it to a rental home could net you better overall results at the end of the day.

Why would you want to rent a home out instead of outright selling it? Well, if you aren't necessarily in need of a huge amount of cash at once, then it may help for you to hang on to the property instead.

You may also be expecting the price of the home to go up in the next year or two. Having the home leased leaves you with considerable income while you observe the market in your area.

If demand in your area is high, a little planning and preparation can also leave you with a steady flow of cash to help you in finding a better home. Speaking of demand, if you've had the property up for sale, and if nobody is biting, perhaps someone may be able to rent the home instead.

You'll notice these are more general reasons why you may want to consider having your property listed for lease instead of for sale. There are actually more specific details to consider, such as Tax Benefits, as well as your personal preparedness in being a landlord.

What's good is that here in Giorgi and Associates, you have the opportunity of choosing from our experienced team of agents to assist you. They are more than willing to brainstorm with you as you consider selling your property, or having it listed for lease. Whatever you choose, know that our agents are the best in their craft, and they can give you the direction and assistance you will need in the future. Click here to meet our team.

URL Sources:

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Posted in Real Estate
Nov. 13, 2016

General Guidelines To Buying Your Next Home

The Woodlands is certainly a great area to settle down in. This Master-planned community projects the perfect balance between urban sophistication and the fresh feel of nature in its full glory. Owning property in The Woodlands is an absolutely sound investment for you and the family.

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However, before you make a beeline towards a house you've seen once online, it helps to check on other things first. How are other properties in the neighborhood priced? Are there signs of potential fees to pay for mandatory membership in a homeowner's association? What will you be spending on maintenance and utilities?

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On the topic of homework, assess, and re-assess the property and the nearby area. Once you've found a potential home, make a few more visits during different times of the day. Is the neighborhood peaceful during the day? What amenities and facilities are open during the evening? How is traffic in the morning and evening?

With all this considered, ask yourself again: Are you sure this is the home you want to buy? Patience and self-control are key to giving you the confidence to back your answer. It'll take a little more time and effort, but it helps to have all bases covered, especially if it means avoiding all sorts of problems during and after the transaction.

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Finally, the right agent is a literal godsend during these times. Do you have an agent to help you out? If not, Giorgi & Associates has you covered - our agents are the best in their field, ensuring that you are well-informed and updated regarding any properties you are interested in. Click here to meet them.

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Posted in Real Estate